Corsairs wrangle the Brahmas in four sets

How do the Santa Monica College Corsairs men’s volleyball team spell problems? E-R-R-O-R-S. The Corsairs came into Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Pierce Brahmas seventh in the state in errors with 170 and added many more in the San Fernando Valley.

“After any game you’re going to have areas you need to improve on and [errors] are one of ours,” SMC head coach Jackson Metichecchia said.

Despite the errors, the Corsairs were able to defeat Pierce three sets to one, 25-15, 25-21, 13-25, 25-13.

The errors cropped up after a smooth first game that never saw the Brahmas come within four points.

After a quick start in the second set, fouls at the net allowed the Brahmas to take their first lead of the game.

Santa Monica College Corsairs freshman outside hitter, Paddy Pan (26) (right), is blocked by Los Angeles Pierce College sophomore setter, Isaiah Williams (8) (left), during the first set of the Corsairs' 3-1 victory over the Brahmas on Friday at the South Gym at Pierce College in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, Calif. The Corsiars did not allow the Brahmas within for points during the game and won 25-15.

Though the front line will be addressed at practice, Metichecchia wants his front line to control the action.

“I want the guys to feel like they can make a decision to be aggressive and I don’t want to sit there and tell the them to take a little off of it. I want them to decide for themselves,” Metichecchia said.

Trailing 9-3 in the third game, normally sure-footed sophomore outside hitter Max Nua, committed a lift error on his leaping serve and after a rotation foul, the blue and white found themselves down 12-4.

“We all started making a few errors and it was a snowball effect. We’re a young team and maybe mentally we’re not quite there to be consistent every play,” sophomore setter Joseph Mayer said.

During the dominant opening and closing games of the match, the Corsairs offense was powered by excellent serving.

Though Mayer, by his own admission, was not serving particularly “tough” during his eight point run to open the fourth game, the Brahmas could never handle the ball well enough to get it past the SMC wall.

“I knew I just needed to put the ball in and the chances of us getting a point were so high,” Mayer said.

In the rare cases the ball got past the strong pins of Nua and freshman outside hitter Paddy Pan, the offense responded to put away Pierce in the final game.

“The most deceptive offense is one where everyone is getting some action and Joe [Mayer] did a good job of distributing tonight,” Metichecchia said.

With two games next week with major Western State Conference standing implications against Long Beach City College and El Camino College, one can understand why Metichecchia was quick to refocus his energy into next week after the win.

“It feels [good], getting a win against anybody. Whoever is on our schedule,” said Metichecchia.

However, this is the first time Metichecchia has faced and defeated his alma mater where he played in the red and black from 2007-2010.

With the win, the Corsairs improve to 5-5 overall and remain undefeated in three games of WSC play.